You imagined filling your high school days with memories with friends and the pursuit of your future. You did not plan for a pregnancy. Uncertainty, fear, and other emotions may overwhelm you, but you should know that as a pregnant teenager, you have options. You aren’t alone and you have the strength needed to make the best decision for you! 

Who is a minor?

Anyone under the age of 18 is a minor in New York. Legally, parents or legal guardians must support and protect minors. Parents also give consent for certain things such as medical treatments or obtaining a driver’s license. 

What are my rights as a pregnant minor?

If you’re under the age of 18 and pregnant, you have the right to make a choice about your pregnancy. In New York, you can choose to parent your baby, place your baby for adoption, or have an abortion. No one can force you to make a particular choice.

What are the father’s rights for my pregnancy? 

In New York, pregnant women do not need to obtain the father’s permission to parent the baby or to have an abortion. But, if you want to place your baby up for adoption, the father must be notified and must terminate his parental rights. The father of your baby can never force you to make a decision.  

Do I have to tell my parents that I’m going to have an abortion? 

In New York, minors do not have to obtain permission from their parents for an abortion. Most healthcare providers recommend minors find a trusted adult to be a support throughout the process. Plus, minors should receive education about abortion including the contraindications, the procedures, and the risks. 

How do I tell my parents that I’m pregnant? 

Every parent will respond differently to the news of an unplanned pregnancy. The key to communicating effectively is to tell your parents as soon as possible and with clarity. Prepare yourself emotionally and with the words you want to say. Read more tips here. 

Can my parents force me to have an abortion? 

Some parents try to force teenagers to have an abortion by saying things like, “Have an abortion or I’ll kick you out of the house.” But legally, parents must always provide their teenagers with housing, education, food, or safety. They can never force their daughter to have an abortion. If you feel like anyone is trying to force you to have an abortion, you should contact a trusted professional at once. State laws protect your right to make your own decision.

Do my parents have to consent to my prenatal care? 

As a pregnant minor, you’re able to consent to your own medical care for your pregnancy. Healthcare professionals must keep your medical information confidential and cannot tell your parents. The only time providers must report the pregnancy is if abuse was involved. So, you’re able to consent to any medical service related to your pregnancy such as labs, doctor appointments, ultrasounds, and delivery. 

Who makes decisions about my baby if I’m a minor? 

After delivery, you make all the healthcare decisions for your baby, even if you are a minor. 

Do I need my parents’ permission to place my baby up for adoption? 

Your parents may want to be involved in the adoption process to support you, but you do not have to obtain your parent’s consent to place your baby for adoption. You will make all the decisions regarding the adoption of your baby. 

Does adoption work differently for a minor? 

Regardless of your age, the adoption process works the same way for all pregnant women. Most pregnant women choose an adoption agency that will walk them through each step of the process. The agency empowers you to make an adoption plan that includes all your wishes. Even some of the costs related to the pregnancy may be covered through an adoption.


Do my parents have to know that I’m getting birth control? 

Healthcare providers can provide a minor with contraception without their parent’s consent. Minors can also seek testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections without telling their parents. Healthcare providers must also keep all medical information confidential.

Do I have to tell my high school that I’m pregnant? 

Legally you don’t have to tell your school that you’re pregnant, however, you’ll want them to know eventually so that they can accommodate your pregnancy. You have the right to stay in school and cannot be forced to transfer schools. The school must also accommodate any time you need to take off for medical appointments or health concerns related to the pregnancy. They also must help you make up the work that you missed during your time away. Most schools have processes in place for pregnant mothers. Just ask! 

Can I receive Medicaid as a minor? 

As a minor in New York, you can apply for your own Medicaid to cover the cost of your pregnancy. Many programs will even cover your baby’s healthcare after birth. 


Will I get in trouble if my boyfriend is older than me?


Each state has different laws about the age of sexual consent. Some states have laws that allow consensual sex between partners within a certain age gap. But regardless of the age difference, you have the right to make an informed decision about your pregnancy.


As thoughts and feelings swirl, take each day at a time. At Care Net of NNY, we’ve got your back. We’ll help you confirm your pregnancy, provide education about all of your options, and empower you to make the best decision for you. Make an appointment online or call us today at (315)782-5433 to speak with our kind and compassionate team.